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    FAQ How to shop online safely and securely?

    Ensure that you know the identity, location and contact details of the online retailer.

    There are many online companies whose brand name is instantly recognizable, such as Additionally, many real life stores now include an online retailing arm as part of their retail services and you already know their reputations. It is important, however, to also establish the identity of lesser known online companies who do not have instant recognition or external store status. In this case, it is important to look for the name, company registration details for your country, contact details that include an e-mail, postal address and telephone number and also a clear indication of where the company's headquarters is based.

    Find out about billing, guarantees and delivery before you buy.

    Always look for the additional costs and payment details prior to sending credit card details. Look for : Packaging costs - these should be evident up front, Delivery costs - these should be evident up front, Whether you will be billed before or after delivery of the products, Whether the product comes with a guarantee or warranty for defects etc, How you can return the product if it doesn't work or meet your expectations - look for information on the site about cancellations, returns and refunds. Print off a copy for future reference.

    Read the site's privacy policy.

    Reputable companies will be open about how they collect data from you and what they do with it. Many now also belong to web-seal approval or trust mark programs that set out guidelines on the treatment of your information. Look for a privacy policy and learn about whether the company uses your information beyond the purchase transaction, for example, to email you with updates or deals etc. or if it passes on information to third party merchants. This is how you can end up getting spam mail if you are not careful. At the end of the day, you must make your own decision about how much information you are prepared to give.

    Only use secure websites if you are transferring funds via the site.

    Once you're happy with the company you are purchasing from, ensure that your credit card details are going to be processed using a secure connection. The most common form of secure encryption is known as Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL for short. SSL encrypts data and breaks it up into small pieces so that the information can not be read by anyone wanting to intercept it.

    Take care when entering information.

    Be sure to enter the correct details when typing in your order. An incorrect address, amount of items or wrong item code can cause many difficulties. Always review the information before pressing send.

    Install a Phishing Filter.

    There are various phishing filters, like SmartScreen Filter in Internet Explorer, that will help protect you from phishing sites by warning you when it detects a distrustful website.

    Be aware of email scams designed to part you from your credit card information.

    Email scams that are designed to gather personal information such as passwords and credit card details are known as phishing emails. The idea is that thousands or hundreds of thousands are sent out in the hope of reeling in unsuspecting victims and getting them to part with confidential information. The emails appear to be from well known companies and can look quite convincing. However, legitimate companies, including all banks, will never send you an email with a link requesting your login, password or credit card details. If in doubt, type the web address of the company it relates to directly into the browser rather than following the email link.